Tributes have been paid to a much-loved cattle handler who died after being crushed by a bull at Gisburn auction mart.
70-year-old John Leverton, who was known as ‘Martin’ to his family and friends, was loading the animal into a wagon with a lorry driver at around 7:30 on Friday morning.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The former farmer had worked as a member of the yard staff for more than 20 years.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "We were called around 7.30am today (Friday, August 25) following reports a man had been seriously injured in Gisburn.
"A 70-year-old man had been injured by a bull at Gisburn Auction Mart in Gisburn Road.
"Emergency services attended but sadly the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
"An investigation is underway and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed."
Secretary and auctioneer of Gisburn Auction Marts Ltd, Richard Turner, said: "We are all very emotional and in a state of shock. It is a terrible tragedy. The driver of the wagon was very, very distraught.
"As far as we are concerned everything was in order. We follow strict guidelines laid down by the National Farming Union.
“We expect a health and safety and a police investigation.”
The bull had been stored overnight, fed and watered, ready for it to be picked up this morning following the sale on Thursday.
A HSE spokesman said: “HSE is aware of the incident and is investigating.”
Mr Leverton’s son, Ian, paid tribute on Facebook: “A wonderful man, husband to Audrey, dad, pops, granddad and friend, my dad Martin Leverton (John) who was seriously injured while doing the job he loved and passed away this morning. RIP dad.”
His grandson Charlie told Farmers Guardian: "I just want all farmers know how to be safe while treating these animals.
"He was a nice caring man, loved by a lot."
Police and ambulance crews were on site for a couple of hours following the accident.
Tributes have also been posted across social media.
Louise Hobson Devastated wrote: "He was a wonderful man. He saved me from being attacked by my bull in the ring. He was a really lovely bloke. Very kind and helpful. My heart goes out to his family. He will truly be missed. RIP Martin."
Philip Parkin posted: "So sad - sorry for your loss to all the family from all at Selby livestock auction mart."
Mr Leverton began working at Gisburn auction mart in 1997 after a spell as a relief milker.
His daughter-in-law Sharon Leverton told Farmers Guardian: "Martin loved this job, turning up no matter what. Even when ill he would still refuse to miss a day’s work.
"He was a keen Subaru, world rally and Colin McRae enthusiast.
"His first Subaru was soon covered in stickers replicating the WRC car, even featuring ’LEVERTON’ in the window.
"Martin and his wife of 49 years, Audrey, took part in several Colin McRae memorial drives, including the world record 30-mile convoy which finished at Prodrive in Banbury.
"We are all devastated. He will be missed by family, friends and colleagues alike."
Martin leaves behind his wife Audrey, sons David and Ian and grandchildren Jack, Charlie, Reece and Courtney.